Apple.com, circa 1983

Apple.com, circa 1983.

Imagine, if you will, an Apple Computer before the Macintosh, before the iPod, before the iPhone – shucks, before Steve Jobs was kicked out and brought back for Apple’s sprint to success.

This is Apple in the year 1983. It was, says Ted Friedman, a rough year:

In any case, by 1983, Apple was in danger. Their competitors in the emerging PC industry had been joined by IBM. Purchasers who’d chosen Apple out of necessity were relieved to be able to turn now to Big Blue. Apple’s first attempt at a next-generation product that could re-establish the company’s pre-eminence was the Lisa. A $10,000 computer designed for the business market, it was a flop.

Steve Jobs gives a keynote that warns of the danger of IBM’s dominance. A former soda-pop president named John Sculley comes on board. Apple sells its millionth Apple II computer.

And then we all know what happens in 1984.

I’m fascinated by how Apple’s web site has changed over the years. And because it has that iconic design, often copied, I thought it’d be cool to use it as a time-traveling template to take a peek into the past.

So with some randomly-available product pics and a bit of PhotoShop, I crafted the above Apple.com mockup as it may have appeared in the year 1983. It’s not accurate, of course, because I took some embellishments on the iPhone prototype and the fact that some sort of World Wide Wide existed during the Reagan administration.

Whatever. It was me having a bit of fun with some Apple history.

What would be cool is if someone took a snapshot of Apple.com as it would appear throughout the years before it’s actual launch in 1996. For instance, I’d love to see what the homepage would’ve looked like on the Newton’s launch day, or the first PowerBook, or System 7.

In the meantime, enjoy what could have been.

37 comments.

  1. Love it. Just love it.
    [Now let's see…]

  2. Interesting article but Steve Jobs was not “kicked out;” he resigned after Board of Directors favored CEO Sculley’s policies over those of Jobs.

  3. my husband loves this!

  4. very nice! It would be great if was a complete site, clickable and everything, but I guess this is A LOT of work… :-)

  5. [...] interessante essa montagem feita por Dave Lawrence. A montagem mostra como seria o website da Apple há 26 anos tento em vista os acontecimentos da [...]

  6. [...] é um print do site da Apple se ele existisse em 1983. Claro que é fake mas eu gostei tanto que eu tive que postar [...]

  7. [...] em evento Como seria o site da Apple em 1983 Julho 17, 2009 Da MacMagazine – O blog Newton Poetry (dedicado ao Apple Newton, precursor dos atuais PDAs) publicou uma imagem de como seria o site da [...]

  8. [...] de acordo com os produtos do ano e na chamada para a pré-venda do iPhone. Uma sacada muito boa de Dave Lawrence, autor da montagem. Leia também:Site da Apple já se encontra atualizado; iTunes 8 [...]

  9. [...] Lawrence by at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making that retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  10. At least the Lisa had Cut & Paste when it was first released – unlike the iPhone – 25 years later!

  11. “Hz” not ‘hz’ but very funny!

  12. [...] Lawrence by at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making that retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  13. [...] Lawrence over at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making this retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  14. Brilliant. I love the “Pre-order iPhone” part.

  15. [...] Lawrence over at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making this retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  16. <asking myself where that vertical scrollbar is going to end. anyhow: great job!

  17. Hi There,

    That is a really fantastic mockup :-). I am really keen on Macintosh and computer history in general and I’m seriously considering putting a retro section in my website.

    Would I be able to use your graphic possibly as an introduction to that section?

    I can fully appreciate if you don’t really want me to do that, but it’s just so great, personally I don’t have the skill to create such a masterpiece!

    I hope you are having a nice day and I really appreciate your work :-)

    Cheers,

    Malcolm

  18. Thanks Malcolm. Feel free to borrow the image (click on it for the Flickr link). All I ask is for credit and a link back here. Deal?

  19. [...] Lawrence over at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making this retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  20. @S.R. Hershey

    Jobs’ resignation was a mere formality. He had already been removed as head of the Macintosh group and stripped of any power with in the company.

  21. [...] Lawrence over at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making this retro-future homepage for Apple products. He picked a [...]

  22. [...] Newton Poetry — Apple.com, circa 1983 [...]

  23. [...] posted my Apple.com, circa 1983 picture on June 29 – three days after sharing it on Flickr. Since then, the image has been shared [...]

  24. Great retro-page. Of course, the internet was available, but not the Web 1983.

    Also, Apple were using a serif font during the 1980s. The iPhone black-and-white display isn’t so far off the mark, Apple designed the semi-portable Apple //c in anticipation of it using an 80×25 character LCD (or was it 40×25?).

    Apple’s professional development was done in Pascal, not Basic in 1983 (most of Lisa’s code was written in Pascal and UCSD Pascal was available for the II).

  25. [...] Apple.com, circa 1983 [newtonpoetry.com] 0 Comments [...]

  26. [...] Dave Lawrence hat darüber nachgedacht, wie die Apple-Website wohl im Jahr 1983 ausgesehen hätte…vorausgesetzt es hätte schon Internet mit Browser und solchen Schikanen wie Graphik und Farbtiefe gegeben. In groß anzusehen hier. So oder so ähnlich hätte die Apple-Website 1983 ausgesehen [...]

  27. [...] Apple.com, circa 1983 [newtonpoetry.com] [...]

  28. [...] 5.- Apple en 1983. [...]

  29. [...] 5.- Apple en 1983. [...]

  30. [...] would Apple.com look like in 1983?  Newton Poetry shows us one [...]

  31. You totally can go and see what apple’s homepage looked like through the years. Just go to http://www.archive.org and type apple.com into the ‘wayback machine’ and it will give you hundreds of archived pages from years past.

  32. brilliant.

  33. [...] up what Apple.com might have looked like at the Newton’s launch in 1993, 10 years after my original retro Apple.com site featuring the Lisa in [...]

  34. [...] my original retro Apple.com post, I asked for others to take memorable moments in Apple’s history and mockup a web [...]

  35. Your retro-Apple site made a list of “30 Old PC Ads!”

    http://www.rockingfundas.com/2010/08/30-old-pc-ads.html

  36. Funny how they threw my fake one in with all those fun real ones. Thanks for sharing!

  37. [...] newtonpoetry.com/2009/06/29/applecom-circa-1983/ [...]

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